Re: Program changes
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sat, 14 Feb 1998 10:28:22 -0600
Jason shared my enthusiam on finally getting a "new" cloth recognition for
the Youth Leadership in America Award:
>YEAH!! WOO HOO! YEAH!! Finally a knot of the Youth Leadership in
>America and a bonus for explorers who got the Congressional Awards?!!
Why have I and a couple others been literally beating down the BSA's
Insignia and Uniform Committee about a silly square knot for an award that
many don't even remember??
The BSA has had a long-standing relationship, a deep relationship, with
Readers' Digest, Inc. Readers' Digest, the makers of those small monthly
publications of inspriation, information and reflection, wanted to work with
the BSA on a number of leadership programs and the BSA found them a great
national partner organization. The only problem was that the monies that
RD gave to the BSA each year was "tied" to developing a public speaking
program for Boy Scouts and Explorers, similar to what the American Legion
has done for years for youth members (including BSA members), offering
college scholarships for the national winners and trophies and certificates
So, the BSA and Readers' Digest cooperated in a number of public speaking
contests in the early 70s. The number of Scouts and Explorers that
participated vaned and eventually died by the late 70s, so the BSA worked
out a new way that Scouts and Explorers (and the new Varsity Scouts) would
be able to share in Readers' Digest's investment into leadership.
A Youth Leadership in America Award was developed and announced in late
1977, to start the following program year. Only the senior youth leader of
the unit (Troop, Team, Post or Ship) may earn the award, and can only earn
the award during their tenure. In addition to meeting other requirements
dealing with leading the unit, the nominee in order to compete for the
national scholarships and other national/regional recognitions, had to
submit a recorded statement (a speech, if you will) on audio tape to be
included in the application and approvals package.
Lots of Senior Patrol Leaders, Team Captains, Post Presidents and Ship
Boatswains earned the "basic award", which the BSA heavily promoted every
chance they got. A few, a little more than under the previous National
speech competitions, applied for the scholarships and sent in the audio
tapes. Eight years later, the BSA finally gave up and announced that the
Youth Leadership in America Awards would no longer be presented by the BSA,
although local Councils can still administer the awards as long as the
stocks of the medals are still available (and they were available from the
BSA's Program Division until 1992).
The Award, a silver torch of leadership suspended from a red, white and
green ribbon held at the top by a bar with the word "Leadership" on it
became a prized possession by many Scouts whom turned into adulthood in the
early 90s. They wanted to wear something which represented the award, and
at that time, the only guidance that National was giving (and that I was
giving, because I asked that same question) was "take the bar off of the
medal and wear it like you would a square knot".
When two BSA suppliers did "a uh-oh" when they reversed a square knot color
combination, little did they know that their suppliers' mistake would later
become a suggestion on how to solve the problem of getting a suitable
recognition for those many holders of this special national award.
If the BSA's numbers are any indication the numbers of Senior Patrol
Leaders and others that have earned the basic award (the medal) was
somewhere in the number of 2000 per year, or 16,000 over the "life" of the
award. That's a significant number of youth leaders that need recognition.
The knot design, when approved by the BSA's National Executive Board
hopefully this spring or summer, will start filtering in to local Councils
somewhere around the first part of the new program year.
The other thing, making the Congressional Award available to be worn as a
knot device by Scouts, Explorers and Scouters that have earned this special
national recognition, was really (in my opinion only) a no-brainer.
By doing this, the BSA hopes to get more Scouts and Explorers interested in
pursuing this special service and leadership award, which is awarded through
Congressional representation in each Congressional District.
>Seriously, in my reading of Mike's note, I didn't get the sense that
>Ventures are being *dropped* as a program. Rather, they aren't going to
>be packaged with Varsity scouting any longer. If that is the case, (and I
>hope it is) than I think it is good idea. Varsities are intended to be a
>separate program, separate charter, etc. Ventures are a patrol in the
>troop. My reading of his post was that Varsities will be completely
>recognized in their own right. Perhaps, then, we will see Venture things
>in the new Handbook?
>Mike, your thoughts?
I agree and I am looking forward in seeing a separate chapter in the new Boy
Scout and Scoutmasters' Handbooks specificially addressing Venture Scouting
and how it can be done within a Troop setting.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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